Running Man

In the years 2019 an innocent Cop is accused of a crime that he did not commit.

Ben Richards must face his punishment. In the highest rating gameshow in history, Prime Time real life and death TV action.

Television is King. You are the ultimate Star – it is time to be THE RUNNING MAN.

DO YOU HAVE THE COURAGE???

Yeah do you have the courage to play this game?

You’re going to need something if you are to play this game. And I am sure that it’s not going to be courage. Maybe something like a stiff drink and a whole lot of patience.

Why? You maybe asking.

Well as you may have guessed it’s another movie tie in game. And keeping with traditions, established even back in the day, it’s not the greatest of endeavours ever undertaken by a developer. Yeap it’s certainly a mongrel of a game, and not even that kind of special mongrel that you could still love.

The game is a side scrolling, beat-em-up style game based on the Running Man film released in 1987. Which it’s self is an adaption of a Steven King book of the same name. But that’s going off topic a little. That’s just how much I don’t really want to go into this game.

But I am a gluten for punishment and playing this game certainly feels like it.

In the game you face off against four of the stalkers from the film, except they are all called stalker, in a not so fast and furious manner. And that’s the thing with this game. It’s neither fast nor furious like the movie that it’s based off. In fact I would go as far to say it’s a lacklustre game through and through.

The graphics, while still looking reasonable compared to what the system could actually do, are too clunky and make the entire game have a pathetic frame rate. They feel like they have been lazily ported over from the Commodore Amiga version of the game rather than been reworked specifically for the C64. Which, if this actually were the case, would explain the poor frame rate.

The game play on this title doesn’t vary very much. I know most side scrolling beat-em-ups don’t vary from the set model of kick, kick, punch and special move. But at least they attempt to spice things up by adding special moves or whacky characters. Running Man really is a case of punch, punch, generic bad guy dead, next generic bad guy, maybe a kick if the game feels like it and yet another generic bad guy dead. Couple this with the bad frame rate and incredibly dodgy collision detection and you have a mega recipe for tedious boredom.

Oh and while I am on the subject of collision detection. The controls to this game are horrid. Arnie has this very sluggish way of moving, which is different from the low frame rate, and things like simply walking seem to take an age for him to register. Same goes for jumping. Jumping takes even longer for Arnie to register in his 8-bit brain and then, just to rub salt into the wound, you have to contend with the collision detection system. Which will have you hopping up and down in front of obstacles like a demented rabbit.

Punching is as useful as spitting into the wind. If the slow punch doesn’t get you killed then the schizophrenic collision detection will certainly help finish the job. The combat in this game feels like your punching a bath full of treacle with enemies getting far faster reaction times than yourself.

I suppose it’s because Arnie must have been snacking a little too hard before hand.

Lets get my final thoughts about this game out then before my spleen decides to erupt from my body in order to escape playing this game any more.

This game is terrible. There I have said it now. It’s all out in the open and it’s what I should have just said at the start of this review. I know it’s no great shock to say a movie based game is bad, or at worst case scenario terrible, but this game is just on a whole new level of bad. It’s as if they just decided to make a very lazy port of the game that was present on other systems. Package it and just sit back while the masses lapped it up.

The only reason I own this game is because a friend donated it to me. And now I can see why it was ‘donated’ to me. It’s a poor game that should never have seen the light of day in the first place.

If I have to force myself to score this game, which I would just gladly drop into a furnace rather than score, then I will have to give it a 1 out of 5 score. There are far better games, not just normal games but also movie tie in games, out there for the system. What ever you do, just avoid this game like the plague.

Gameplay Video

CritAnime

I grew up in the magical 8-bit era of computers and consoles. I saw the games crash and saw the recovery from it with the NES. I will always have my trusty C64 in my office and when the need arises I will pop a tape in the Datasette and play some classic games.

With a wealth of knowledge, especially on old-school rpg's, I hope to bring it to you. The viewers of Retroist.com

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